IT professionals: Five strategies to earn your degree

January 10, 2018

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace and skilled IT professionals are in demand.

In the past, IT positions emphasized on-the-job learning, but today, many jobs in the field require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Whether you’re choosing to pursue an IT degree for leadership and higher-pay opportunities, to be eligible to apply for jobs where a bachelor’s is required, or you want to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the field, here are five strategies to consider before starting your program.

1. Take advantage of your prior credits

If you’re someone who began your education elsewhere but wasn’t able to finish it, be sure to find out if those credits will transfer to your new degree program.

At Capella University, students can bring in over half of their bachelor’s degree through transfer credit, saving you significant time and money. Even better, Capella offers FlexPath, a self-paced format that can help you finish the bachelor’s degree you started in as little as 13 months and under $14,000.1

2. Take advantage of your prior learning

Bryan Agosto* had a bachelor’s degree and Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification, but he also had a lifetime goal to get a master’s degree. By the time he was ready to pursue his advanced degree, he already had a growing family and a demanding job as a project manager for a major airline. It was critical for him to be able to progress at his own rate and to have a program that recognized his prior learning.

“I had done a lot of learning after I got my bachelor’s degree, getting certifications and training to be able to increase my industry knowledge,” says Agosto. “When I applied at Capella, I was pleased that they took into account my PMP® certification and translated that into college credit.”

3. Leverage your background in your coursework

FlexPath is particularly valuable for people who already have extensive knowledge and experience in the IT field. Ninety-two percent of alumni report that FlexPath allowed them to use their knowledge and experience to move faster through their program.**

Donald Dudley* took his years of experience in IT security and applied it to his bachelor and master degrees to move more quickly through familiar content via FlexPath. “The FlexPath format gave me the ability to connect the dots between school and my professional life,” Dudley says. “Specifically, the IT cyber security-related and governance coursework directly correlated to my position as a senior security engineer. There were some things I didn’t know about IT cyber security, so the coursework bridged the gap and gave me a new understanding of how important IT security is.”

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4. Select a learning format that supports your learning style

Keith Hoffman* had decades of experience in IT, but knew that if he wanted to move up, he would need to finish his bachelor’s degree—something difficult to do while working full-time and having an active, growing family.

He found that with FlexPath, he could move through coursework at his own pace. “I could squeeze in a few hours of studying whenever I had time and make steady progress,” he says. “I truly enjoyed the experience that I had earning my bachelor’s through Capella,” he says. “I liked it so much that I immediately enrolled in the master’s program after graduation.”

5. Lower your out-of-pocket cost through tuition reimbursement

Another avenue to financing your IT degree involves tuition reimbursement. Some employers will reimburse you for some or all of the tuition costs you incur to get your degree.

Jeffrey Sweet* found out first-hand just how helpful tuition reimbursement could be, especially when combined with FlexPath. “FlexPath’s flat rate tuition structure was one of the best parts of the program,” he says. FlexPath allowed him to move at an accelerated pace, which helped control costs. “FlexPath was the only way I would have been able to finish,” he says. “I considered going back to my traditional school, but the schedule and cost were prohibitive. I was ready to resign myself to the fact that I would never complete my degree, but my supervisor introduced me to Capella, and I was able to finish even faster than I had anticipated.”

1Generally, the fastest 10 percent of students finish in a year. Your program length and cost will vary by your degree program, transfer credits, the per-session cost, and how quickly you complete courses. Books, supplies, and other fees may apply.

*Actual Capella student who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella.

**Alumni Outcomes Survey, 2017.

FlexPath is available for the following BS in Information Technology specializations:

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